Pope Benedict

I clipped this photo from the front page of the Financial Times. On the FT's salmon-pink newsprint, it looks like a painting. Even here, the question "What time is this?" comes to mind, looking at these ancient white folk, symbols of their institutions. The trappings are intact, but nothing is really immune now to the great upheaval, in which everything established is suspect. Benedict gamely plays out the role he must have sought. He apologizes, but it does no good. In The Leopard, the Prince tells his priest that buying time is the only point. The world has changed, so a prince does what he can to buy his children safe passage. The Pope may have a longer view, but the Queen? Harder to know. Neither shows any sign of letting go.


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